Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


Correspondence with Joshua V. Himes

Ellen White continued to meet with the new companies of believers, entertaining those who came to her home. And of course, she kept busy with her heavy correspondence. One letter, written January 17, was addressed to Joshua V. Himes, who in the early 1840s worked closely with William Miller in the Great Second Advent Awakening. Himes was now 89 years of age and at the Battle Creek Sanitarium for treatment of a cancer of his cheek. In attending an evening meeting in the Battle Creek Tabernacle in mid-September, he heard the reading of several letters from Ellen White in which she gave a little report of the work in Australia and made an appeal for financial assistance. The next day he took his pen and wrote to her, recounting briefly some of his experience. “It is more than twenty years,” he wrote, “since I met you and James in the Sanitarium and had our last conversation on the Adventist movement.” He reported that he had returned to the church affiliation of his childhood, Protestant Episcopal, and was serving as a deacon of St. Andrews church in Elk Point, South Dakota, where he had ministered for fifteen years. He wrote: 4BIO 178.6

I preach the Advent as being near, without a definite time, and I believe it. I do not look far into the future of the present dispensation. You and your associates have done a great work since 1844, and still go on.... Well, I finished my work really in 1844, with Father Miller. After that, what I did at most was to give comfort to the scattered flock.... 4BIO 179.1

God bless, and guide you to the end. I enclose five dollars for your own use. Truly in Christ, J. V. Himes.—September 12, 1894. 4BIO 179.2

Ellen White may have hastened off to Himes a handwritten note thanking him for his letter and the gift, but the typewritten file contains no record. However, Himes wrote her a second letter on November 7, reporting that under Dr. Kellogg's care he was improving in health and hoped soon to be able to return home cured. The believers in Battle Creek had many warmhearted conversations with him concerning the Advent movement, with which he had been so intimately connected. In this letter he wrote: 4BIO 179.3

My visit here has been very pleasant and I hope a blessing to the waiting ones. You know my mission ended in 1844. I did my work faithfully, and have waited faithfully for the Advent and still wait in hope. 4BIO 179.4

You have your mission with which I have no right to interfere. 4BIO 179.5

He appended a postscript in which he mentioned a second gift of $40, money he had raised in Battle Creek for the work in Australia. 4BIO 180.1

To this Ellen White responded on January 17, 1895: 4BIO 180.2

My Brother in Christ Jesus,

I received your donation of $40. In the name of our Redeemer I thank you. Be assured we shall invest this money in the best possible way to accomplish the most good for the salvation of souls.... It costs money to raise the standard of truth in the “regions beyond.” ... We are working upon missionary soil in the most economical manner to make a little means go as far as possible, but the treasury is often drained in order to supply the necessities of the workers. 4BIO 180.3

The spirited participation evidenced by your donation for this field has rejoiced my heart, for it testifies that you have not lost the missionary spirit which prompted you first to give yourself to the work and then to give your means to the Lord to proclaim the first and second angels’ messages in their time and order to the world. This is a great gratification to me, for it bears an honorable testimony that your heart is still in the work; I see the proof of your love to the Lord Jesus Christ in your freewill offering for this “region beyond.”—Letter 31a, 1895. 4BIO 180.4

The Battle Creek Sanitarium nurse, Mrs. Austin, who attended Himes at the Sanitarium and reported his death, wrote to Ellen White that he treasured dearly her letter and often said that the work being done by Seventh-day Adventists “was but the continuation of the work he and Father Miller had begun,” and if he were 25 years younger, he would take hold with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and do what he could (undated letter attached to J. V. Himes's letter). 4BIO 180.5